Friday, November 22, 2013

JFK: 50 Years Later

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. There's been a lot of' buzz about the assassination since it's a milestone anniversary. I wasn't alive at the time of JFK's assassination, so I don't have strong emotional connections to it like I do other, more recent historical events, like the terrorist attacks on September 11. 
I don't know as much about JFK's assassination as I probably should, so I've enjoyed seeing all of the special reports that have been on TV lately. Last weekend the movie Killing Kennedy premiered on the National Geographic Channel. This movie was based on Bill O'Reilly's book by the same name. When the book came out a few years ago I wasn't keen on reading it, like I was on Bill O'Reilly's book Killing Lincoln. However, after watching the movie I'm putting Killing Kennedy on my "to read" list because I think it would be a good way to learn more of the finer details about Lee Harvey Oswald and why he did what he did.

One of the things that I enjoyed most about the movie was seeing all of the old news coverage. I wasn't alive at the time, so seeing photos and actual news coverage made it seem a lot more real.
I thought that Rob Lowe's and Ginnifer Goodwin's portrayals of President Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy were both really good. They didn't look identical, of course, but they both delivered a believable performance.
Being the First Lady would be a highly stressful job, and I cannot fathom what the day of the assassination must've been like for Jackie. Imagine sitting next to your husband, waving to the thousands of fans lining the street as the president's car slowly makes its way through the streets of Dallas. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere your husband is shot and he keels over in your lap. The utter chaos that followed must've been it absolutely terrifying. Watching the reenactment of the assassination in the movie made my heart break for Jackie. It was especially sobering to see Jackie with dried blood on her face and to see her pink suit stained with her husband's blood.

These are the last photographs taken of President Kennedy and Jackie. They had no idea of the life-changing event that would shortly befall them.
Pretty much everyone alive at the time remembers where they were when they first heard the news that President Kennedy had been shot. I wonder what it would've been like to be alive and to hear that. My mom was 11 at the time and she was telling me some her recollections of the event. She said that her parents kept the TV on at their house nonstop for the next several days as they watched the news reports about it.

I wonder what it would've been like to be alive during such a notable event. The biggest thing that's happened in my lifetime that I can compare it to are the terrorist attacks on 9/11. I definitely remember where I was when I found that news out, and we were glued to the TV, as well. Two questions I wonder about are how would things be different if President Kennedy were never assassinated and what would it be like to have it happen to a current president?

President Kennedy's assassination was of course tragic for our entire country, but I feel the worst for Jackie and for their kids.


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